ST. LOUIS (AP) - A man convicted of a 1994 homicide in St. Louis is planning to appeal his case after finding video evidence of an interview with his trial’s only eyewitness.
Leron Hornaday, who was sentenced to life in prison in the death of 16-year-old Travis Smith, received evidence through his 2013 request to St. Louis police for materials from the investigation.
To convict Hornaday in 1997, the jury had to believe 30-year-old Crystal Thomas, who claimed she saw the incident.
In the video recorded three days after the homicide, Thomas tells police she was high on crack during the shooting. Thomas’ statements in the video were inconsistent with her trial testimony.
Thomas couldn’t be located for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s (https://bit.ly/20REqMs ) story.
Hornaday’s attorney, John Washington, took his case on Jan. 30.
“I can’t tell you if he’s innocent, but after looking at the evidence, there is no way he should have been tried and found guilty,” Washington said.
Hornaday, now 43, has already lost the argument, in state and federal court, that the video of Thomas is cause for further judicial review. The Missouri attorney general’s office argued that Hornaday could have done his due diligence in early proceedings. And a three-judge panel in the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to hear his appeal in March 2015.
Washington said he’ll start from scratch with his appeals.
The U.S. Supreme Court has said that any evidence that can be used to discount a witness’ credibility must be turned over to the defense.
St. Louis police did not respond to the newspaper’s request for comment. The circuit attorney’s office declined to comment.
Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, https://www.stltoday.com
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